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Best uses of sawdust in gardening...

Posted by greenepastures 9 (My Page) on
Tue, Aug 7, 12 at 0:07

Just got a big bag of sawdust for real cheap....sawdust of pine heat-dried in a kiln...the gentleman at the feed store reccomended that it be used as mulch or composted. It smells wonderful and is high in carbon. Any suggestions on how to use this?

Remember now...this is my first year of gardening so I guess Im still in the learn-by-trial mode....

Follow-Up Postings:

RE: Best uses of sawdust in gardening...

Sawdust is a super-brown so it needs lots of greens to make compost. You can mix it with greens (grass clippings, fresh manure, etc.) and make a compost pile. Or keep it next to your pile and use it to layer over kitchen scraps or other greens as you add them. Or it works great as a mulch on paths as is, or you can mix with greens and use as a mulch around plants to both feed and mulch. Sawdust will pack down and can shed water so you have to be careful using it alone as mulch.

RE: Best uses of sawdust in gardening...

Actually, the leachate from any acid-based mulch is generally not substantial enough to make any significant alteration to soil pH. In already acidic soils, no problem but if attempting to increase acidity via a sawdust mulch, don't expect much.

Because of its typically fine texture, sawdust can easily crust over and become hydrophobic or repel water. That makes its value as a mulch questionable. Either work it into the soil (with a sufficient nitrogen source to offset) or add to the compost. The compost would be my preference.

RE: Best uses of sawdust in gardening...

  • Posted by pt03 2b Southern Manitob (My Page) on
    Fri, Oct 5, 12 at 17:19

Find a horse stable that would use it and trade it for a truckload or two of manure/sawdust.



RE: Best uses of sawdust in gardening...

Love the smell of fresh sawdust! I don't even mind shoveling it into my pick-up! Can't beat the free price. I've used sawdust/fine wood shavings for years to make compost. The stuff I get is not kiln dried. Even when the greens (mostly kitchen scraps) are no longer identifiable and the whole thing looks like brown mulch I use it as a top dressing. The few times I've mixed it with soil in planting holes I also add alfalfa pellets to balance and prevent N deficiency as I'm never sure it's really finished.

Fresh grass clippings work well with sawdust. If it doesn't heat quickly add more clippings until it does. I've found it takes a high percentage of greens to begin decomp and also needs to be kept moist.

Right now I've started a new pile using horse manure with sawdust. Probably won't be ready until spring in zone 3.

RE: Best uses of sawdust in gardening...

Lloyd has a great idea! Now that is thinking like a farmer!

RE: Best uses of sawdust in gardening...

0.0 who the hell buys saw dust? all big hardware stores/small ones too give it away for free and lots of it. i got 4 bags that weigh like 100 pounds each.

i would NOT use saw dust as mulch did it once in my container garden least to say it matted down, prevented water from getting to the roots and just a whole lot of problems. I would compost it. i am sure some people had experience with using it as mulch my experience was just bad.

RE: Best uses of sawdust in gardening...

  • Posted by jolj 7b/8a-S.C.,USA (My Page) on
    Sat, Oct 6, 12 at 17:59

I had a friend, who lived in the North Carolina Mountains.
Up there they have a one horse saw mill in every other hollow.
So he used the sawdust around his BlueBerries, up to six inches deep, at times. He had great plant & tons of fruit.
The sawdust rotted on the bottom & did not repel water or burn the plant. The bottom limbs even rooted, He cut a few for me to bring back home & I still have them.
I had heard that the green sawdust would hurt the plants.
When I told him he laugh & said "Do the plant look hurt to you?"

RE: Best uses of sawdust in gardening...

Pee on it. Then throw it in the compost. Sawdust works very well in a composting toilet.

Or as Loyd suggested, let the horses add their "greens" to it.

I have used sawdust as a base for new compost piles too. I figure it soaks up a lot of leachate. Usually I use cardboard. Multiple layers of cardboard break down faster than sawdust at the bottom fo the pile.

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